Fight Crime: Keep Kids in School

September 25, 2009 at 5:00 am 1 comment

I’m not sure this is really earth-shattering news, but high-school dropouts are far more likely to commit and be involved in crimes than those who graduate. But a study commissioned by California lawmakers, found that high-school dropouts cost the state as much as $1.1 billion in law enforcement costs every year. The study found that by cutting the dropout rate in half, the state would save more than a half a billion dollars annually (source).

“Dropout Prevention Is Crime Prevention”

Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, who recently testified in front of the US senate on behalf of school-based crime prevention efforts, said of the study, “Dropout prevention is crime prevention. Schools need better tools for identifying potential dropouts so they can target interventions at the kids who need them most.”

Law Enforcement Officials are hoping that the results of the study will encourage the Governor to sign a bill requiring schools to accurately report dropout rates and identify signs that a student is at high-rick for dropping out. These statistics may help future policy makers implement programs to target at-risk youth for intervention before they decide to stop going to school.

Identifying At-Risk Youth

As I expressed earlier, I’m not sure anyone doubts that high-school dropouts are more likely to be involved in criminal behavior. And I say this because I think most people who went to high school have observed the statistics first hand. The kids who were always skipping class, involved in drugs, and had problems with the police were the ones we rarely saw at graduation ceremonies. And although I agree that schools need more money to fund programs that help at-risk youth graduate, I’m not sure we need a study to tell us which students are at risk.

Giving Schools Resources to Prevent Crime

Although public schools receive a lot of flack for not educating our children properly, but—in general—teachers, councilors, administrators, and other students don’t have a hard time identifying who is at a high-risk for dropping out. What they lack are resources.

To fight future crime, we as citizens need to support measures in our cities and communities that give schools the resources they need, not only to educate our children, but to help at-risk students stay in school, get an education, and stay off the streets. Crime prevention is more than locking our doors and leaving the porch light on, it is supporting local programs to help children avoid a life of crime before it starts.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Warren  |  October 1, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    To fight crime in this world we need to be able to discipline our children without threats of them being taken away. If we raise a hand at our kids it’s already considered abuse i mean really people. How many people from the old days remember getting hit with that shoe or spanked or slapped for dumb idiotic things we did as kids. And i don’t know about the rest of you but when i got hit i dind’t want to do it again but i did have a few relapses and but hey it kept me out of trouble though criminally. So really lets us actually be parents and you will see crime rates drop significantly TRUST ME ON THAT ONE! I dare any parent to test my theory. Just don’t go over the top with it.


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